scum

noun
\ˈskəm \

Definition of scum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : extraneous matter or impurities risen to or formed on the surface of a liquid often as a foul filmy covering — compare pond scum sense 2

b : the scoria of metals in a molten state : dross

c : a slimy film on a solid or gelatinous object

2a : refuse

b : a low, vile, or worthless person or group of people

scum

verb
scummed; scumming

Definition of scum (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become covered with or as if with scum

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from scum

Noun

scummy \ ˈskə-​mē \ adjective

Examples of scum in a Sentence

Noun

Boil the chicken and use a spoon to remove any scum that floats to the surface. claimed that only scum lived in that part of town

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The same thing happens with cappuccino foam, tea scum, and a powder floating on the surface, like cinnamon, under the right circumstances. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Swirling your wine is not pretentious; it’s just good physics," 25 Aug. 2018 For best results, rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth, which will help prevent soap scum. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "How to Keep a Clean Kitchen," 28 Sep. 2011 Oh and at the same time hiring a scum of a human in Keith Olbermann. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Here is a list of people who have come to Roseanne Barr's defense," 30 May 2018 When June returns to the Waterfords, she's treated like a queen, not like handmaid scum. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: They Went There," 23 May 2018 The magic ingredients in dryer sheets that soften fabrics and eliminate static will break down the soap scum. Jolie Kerr, New York Times, "Five Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Easier," 4 May 2018 Reddit is growing at Facebook's expense, yet its scum-and-villainy problem continues to resurface even after repeated purges. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "When Is Instagram Going to Blow It?," 6 June 2018 Bring to a simmer, skim the scum, then simmer for 30 minutes. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Quick Vegetable Stock," 1 June 2018 The issues in the report included mold in the ice machine; debris and a ‘scum like matter’ on food-contact surfaces in a sink; and cooler temperature problems. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Mold and ‘scum like matter’: DeKalb pizza place fails health check," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lieberman is the scummiest scumbag who ever scummed. Jim Newell, Slate Magazine, "Donald Trump picking Joe Lieberman for FBI director would be incredibly canny and equally awful.," 18 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of scum

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1661, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scum

Noun

Middle English, from Middle Dutch schum; akin to Old High German scūm foam

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scum

Statistics for scum

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scum

The first known use of scum was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scum

scum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scum

: a layer of something unpleasant or unwanted that forms on top of a liquid

: a dishonest, unkind, or unpleasant person

scum

noun
\ˈskəm \

Kids Definition of scum

1 : a film of matter that rises to the top of a boiling or fermenting liquid

2 : a coating (as of algae) on the surface of still water

3 : a loathsome person

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on scum

What made you want to look up scum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!